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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ugoh

Child Sex Trafficking Statistics and Facts in 2024


Child sex trafficking is a devastating crime that affects millions of children worldwide, stealing their innocence and subjecting them to unimaginable pain. As parents and caregivers, it's our responsibility to equip ourselves with knowledge about the realities of child sex trafficking, so we can protect our precious ones from falling victim to this heinous act.


In this article, we will explore the latest statistics and facts regarding child sex trafficking in 2024, shedding light on the urgency of the issue and providing actionable steps we can take to prevent it.


The Global Scale of Child Sex Trafficking


Child sex trafficking remains a pervasive issue across the globe, with millions of children at risk or already suffering. According to recent estimates:


  1. UNODC’s 2022 report on global human trafficking trends shows that around 35 percent, or one in three, of detected victims of trafficking are children.

  2. Statistics collected by the UNODC indicate that over 18,000 child trafficking victims were found in 166 countries in 2020, but this may be an underestimate due to the hidden nature of the crime.

  3. 19% of the children who ran from the care of child welfare and were reported missing to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in 2023 were likely victims of child sex trafficking. (NCMEC)

  4. Of the more than 28,800 missing children reported to NCMEC in 2023, 1 in 6 were likely victims of child sex trafficking. (NCMEC)

  5. Child trafficking happens everywhere, but it's especially bad in Central America, the Caribbean, North Africa, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa. In these areas, most victims who are found are children. (UNODC)

  6. According to UNODC data, existing risks for child trafficking are worsened further during times of emergency. Natural disasters, such as floods, droughts and typhoons, and armed conflicts force children to flee their homes often unaccompanied by or, at times, separated from parents or guardians.

  7. According to the latest Global Estimates of Modern Slavery,  out of the 50 million victims of modern slavery, 22 million were trapped in forced marriage.

  8. Forced commercial sexual exploitation represents 23 percent of all forced labour. Almost 4 out of 5 of those in forced commercial sexual exploitation are women or girls. (International Labour Organization)

  9. Based on regional population size, 65 percent of forced marriages are found in Asia and the Pacific. Arab States have the highest prevalence, with 4.8 out of every 1,000 people in the region in a forced marriage. (news.un.org)

  10. The number of girls and women receiving prevention and care interventions for child marriage and female genital mutilation doubled since 2021. (UNICEF 2022 report)

  11. Girls are up to three times more likely than boys to experience sexual violence (UNICEF)

  12. In 2021, an estimated 22 million people were living in forced marriage, representing a 6.6 million increase over 2016 global estimates. (UN)


Technology and the Changing Landscape


The digital era has transformed child sex trafficking, making it increasingly difficult to detect and combat. Here are a few noteworthy statistics:


  1. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received 148,695 calls to their call center in 2023, a 34.9% increase from the previous year. (NCMEC)

  2. NCMEC saw an increase of more than 300% in reports concerning online enticement from 2021 to 2023, which included the continued growth in reports of financial sextortion, in which offenders aggressively blackmail children for financial gain. (NCMEC)

  3. The NCMEC also reports a new and alarming trend with 4,700 reports involving generative AI. This included child sexual abuse material depicting computer-generated children engaged in graphic sexual acts or deepfakes that use GAI to alter images or videos of real children to be sexually explicit. (NCMEC)


Recognizing the Signs of Child Sex Trafficking and Taking Action


To protect our children from falling prey to child sex trafficking, we need to stay vigilant and informed. Here are some actionable steps we can take:


  1. Educate ourselves and our communities about the signs of child sex trafficking. These signs may include sudden changes in behavior, unexplained absences from school, involvement with older individuals, or frequent travel.

  2. Engage in open and honest conversations with our children about personal boundaries, online safety, and the dangers of grooming techniques used by traffickers both online and offline.

  3. Support organizations like The Mission Haven, who are dedicated to preventing child sex trafficking and helping victims heal. You can show your support by contributing financially, volunteering, or amplifying our work as an Impact Partner. With our combined efforts, we can actively contribute to the fight against this crime and secure a safer environment for our young ones.


Creating a Safe Environment for Our Children


Child sex trafficking remains an urgent and heartbreaking issue in our world today. When we learn and take action to protect our children, we can make our communities safer and hold predators accountable.


The Mission Haven runs a fully-equipped shelter that takes in and caters to the mental, social, and economic needs of kids and teenagers who have been exposed to all forms of sexual abuse, including commercial sex exploitation and sex trafficking. To give, volunteer, or become a partner, please contact us today.


Let us stand together in our commitment to safeguard the innocence of our children and provide support to those who have suffered. Together, we have the power to make a difference and build a brighter future for our children, free from the horrors of child sex trafficking.


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